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A Look Back Through Windows

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Take a look at how far Microsoft Windows has come since 1981, when it first launched. Then visit to learn everything you need to know about Windows 10.

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A Look Back Through Windows

  1. 1. AUGUST 1981 MS-DOS Microsoft releases a new operating system for IBM called “MS-DOS,” which stands for “Microsoft Disk Operating System.” 1981 NOVEMBER 1985 WINDOWS 1.0-2.0 Features introduced: Mouse point-and-click interface, Microsoft Paint, Windows Writer, Notepad, Calculator, Calendar, Clock, and Games (only one game: Reversi). 1985 DECEMBER 1987 WINDOWS 2.0 Features introduced: Desktop icons, overlapping windows, customizable screen layout, keyboard shortcuts, and the Control Panel. 1987 1988 1989 MAY 1988 WINDOWS 2.10 MAY 1990 WINDOWS 3.0 Features introduced: Program Manager, File Manager, Print Manager, better performance, advanced graphics with 16 colors, and improved icons. 1990 SEPTEMBER 1986 The Oprah Winfrey Show first airs. APRIL 1987 The Simpsons first airs as a part of The Tracey Ullman Show. MARCH 1989 WINDOWS 2.11 NOVEMBER 1989 The Berlin Wall falls as the Cold War begins to thaw. FEBRUARY 1990 Nelson Mandela is released from prison after 27 years. 1991 The number of computers on the Internet reaches 1M as the net is made available to unrestricted commercial use. DECEMBER 1990 Mikhail Gorbachev receives the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to lessen Cold War tensions and national reform. JULY 1985 Back to the Future comes out and Marty McFly is sent back to 1955—which happens to be when Bill Gates was born! Windows A LOOK BACK THROUGH 1980 1992 APRIL 1992 WINDOWS 3.1 JULY 1993 WINDOWS NT 3.1 1993 NOVEMBER 1993 WINDOWS FOR WORKGROUPS 3.11 1993 1993 NOVEMBER 1993 WINDOWS 3.2 SEPTEMBER 1994 WINDOWS NT 3.5 1994 AUGUST 1995 WINDOWS 95 Windows 95 is the most publicized launch of Microsoft yet, with a commercial that features the Rolling Stones singing “Start Me Up” to highlight the new Start Button. Features introduced: Start button, built-in Internet support, dial-up networking, plug-and-play capabilities for software installation, 32-bit operating system, integrated networking, taskbar, minimize/maximize/close buttons on each window, first version of Internet Explorer, and Microsoft Flight Simulator is now available for Windows. 1995 JUNE 1998 WINDOWS 98 Features introduced: Support for reading DVDs and USB devices, Quick Launch bar, and a faster ability to open and close windows. 1998 FEBRUARY 2000 WINDOWS 2000 Originally marketed as “the most secure Windows version ever,” it is the target of several high-profile virus attacks including Code Red and Nimda. 2000 SEPTEMBER 2000 WINDOWS ME Originally intended to work with the Windows NT kernel, it is instead rushed to market—and often was criticized for being buggy, slow, and unstable. It is shortly replaced by Windows XP the next year. 2000 OCTOBER 2001 WINDOWS XP HOME Features introduced: Network Setup Wizard, Windows Media Player, Windows Movie Maker, and enhanced digital photo capabilities. 2001 APRIL 2005 WINDOWS XP PROFESSIONAL X64 Windows XP Professional focused on enhanced reliability, security, and performance. Features introduced: Remote desktop support, encrypting file system, system restore, advanced networking features, wireless 802.1x networking support for mobile, Windows Messenger, and Remote Assistance. 2005 JANUARY 2007 WINDOWS VISTA Security features are greatly enhanced, and design is one of Microsoft’s priorities as well, featuring a new look for the taskbar, borders around windows, and a redesigned Start button. Features introduced: User Account Control, BitLocker Drive Encryption, enhancements for Windows Media Player to integrate television viewing, photo sharing, and video editing. 2007 OCTOBER 2009 WINDOWS 7 Features introduced: Windows Touch (allows touchscreen users to browse the web, open files and folders, and casually flip through folders), multitouch support, and HomeGroup file sharing. 2009 OCTOBER 2012 WINDOWS 8 Designed to work with both touchscreens and mouse/keyboard, Windows 8 is completely reimagined, from the chipset to the UX. Features introduced: Completely reimagined operating system with a new interface, Start screen with tiles, and Windows Store for app purchases. 2012 JULY 2015 WINDOWS 10 Windows 10 releases with new features & improvements. 2015 OCTOBER 2013 WINDOWS 8.1 2013 1994 Netscape Navigator is the leading web browser. 1993 Intel introduces the Pentium microprocessor, which will power Windows computers for the next 20 years. SEPTEMBER 1994 The first episode of Friends airs. SEPTEMBER 1995 eBay is founded. NOVEMBER 1995 is founded. DECEMBER 1999 The impending Y2K bug creates concerns that computer systems throughout the world will fail. Very few problems actually occur when the clock strikes midnight on 12/31/1999. JANUARY 2001 Wikipedia launches. SEPTEMBER 1998 Google is founded, later becoming one of the biggest tech companies in the world. g SEPTEMBER 2001 Terrorists attack the World Trade Center towers and the Pentagon. JULY 2006 Twitter launches. NOVEMBER 2008 Barack Obama becomes the first African American to be elected President of the United States. JUNE 2007 First iPhone releases. MAY 2010 The US stock market experiences a trillion-dollar crash over the course of approximately 36 minutes. DECEMBER 2012 Expected “End of the World” according to the Mayan Calendar MARCH 2014 Ellen DeGeneres' "Oscar selfie" becomes the most retweeted photo of all time, at 2.5 million shares. SOURCE: SEE HOW FAR WINDOWS 10 HAS COME SINCE 1981. 2000 Thousands of dotcoms go bust as the dotcom bubble bursts. WWW.
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Take a look at how far Microsoft Windows has come since 1981, when it first launched. Then visit to learn everything you need to know about Windows 10.


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